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Rivkin

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Rivkin last won the day on April 23 2020

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About Rivkin

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    Kirill R.

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  1. My point is a tad bit different. How do we "know" the buyer of shinto Takada made a "mistake"? We have Aoi Art website which lists thousands of swords together with the prices they went for. A unique feature, which by itself made Aoi Art quite popular, but also extremely hated by many dealers. They are tired of telling their customers that their Sue Sa is much better than the one on Aoi Art and that's why it costs more. They can't openly say Aoi Art is a relatively affordable place and its unfair to compare its prices against someone who invested decades of labor into cultivating the image of a true expert in charge of a unique boutique. Most of all, such singular price record prevent quite a few swords from appreciating. If it says out there the sword was sold for million yen twenty years ago, it's what people will want to pay for it today. And that's part of a greater problem - nihonto does not have more or less transparent price formation, almost all deals being done privately. Its not suitable for real investments, as even the most experienced dealers simply don't have the full price dynamics on their hands. Compare it to fine art market where you get lists of virtually all sales for the past century, because 90% of it goes through public auctions. Unless you deal with once a lifetime find, you can reasonably guess the acceptable valuation for an auction of certain level, and going from there can guess a retail value as well. But when you buy an expensive nihonto at best your guidance is about some friend who sold something similar for say 20% more, and generally knowing such swords are "in demand". When you decide to sell it, suddenly it turns out to be much more complicated. Its great if you bought a sword for life. But as an investment nihonto I feel plainly is a bad option. The market is too opaque to have a comfortable long term prognosis. Otherwise I am in the camp "blame it on the buyer". I can't imagine selling anything without inspection period, even if its not specified outright, unless its outright specified not to be the case. But after that, its on the buyer. That's more freedom than you get in a stock market.
  2. I think Nihonto world has a much larger hidden problem - its aversion to auctions means most higher grade items are being sold privately for unknown prices. Which means potential for huge fluctuations and no clear guidance on how much what is worth. I knew a sword which a collector sold in the US for 70k to a dealer, dealer sold it to another dealer for 120, he sold it to a collector for 250. How much would he get if he were to sell it today? Who knows. There are quite a few higher end dealers supposedly selling for investment, whose goods are one way ticket. You physically can't recover what you paid. We already saw collapse of TJ level items by 25-50% across the board in 2000s, and will likely see another one sooner or later.
  3. Rivkin

    Tanto help please

    One could compare it with signatures of different generations, but for lazy and ignorant people like me, judging by style its 5th to 6th generation, and quite likely the 5th (1500-1520). Its a good work and worth having. If you are thinking about selling I am sure quite a few people would be interested.
  4. I can't say anything about this item, but a lot of Momoya Namban treasures are in actuality results of 19th century trade acquired by older clans and then redated in the 20th century to a famous 16th century Daimyo. A basic knowledge of either Continental Asian or European swords is probably absent from the community.
  5. Conventional way: do you see dots in hamon which sparkle if you apply light from the edge's side. If yes, its nie. Unconventional way: look at the blade straight down while applying light from a side (not from the edge, but from either nakago or kissaki's direction). If you see bright, well distinguished hamon, its in nie. If its sort of hazy, its nioi. This method helps a lot when you buy swords based on scanned photographs. If its hazy, its not bad, its just a nioi blade. There are exceptions but they are rare.
  6. I almost agree with the opinion, but have couple of very personal arguments: Keicho or very close to it. Sugata is a bit atypical for anything typical. Hada is already quite dense, too dense for koto, either shinto or shinshinto is more likely. Hamon has a wide "base", it shows very little vertical variation except in the topmost portion and is very glassy in appearance. Hamon itself is very eclectic. Its a tid bit more nie based than expected from Bizen, odd-groupings of togari, some togari are sharper than typical Bizen choice, some togari are kind of gumone-like standing by themsleves, so it has a Mino feeling to it. At the same time very thin, slanted, sharp angled togari are definitely Bizen like. Such eclectics is more shinto than koto. I would bet its more masame based in shinogi ji, but that could be koto mino as well. I think its sugu boshi. Overall to me looks like very early shinto. Is it gimei? Can be, can be not. Its not outside the realm of possible later generation Kanemoto experimenting with something like that.
  7. Purely personal feelings: That would make sense were this by the shodai Kanemoto. But since it does not appear to be the case - what's the relevance. The style is basically Bizen-based, even if one accounts for convergence of Mino and Bizen around Tembun. I would further argue that the particular execution, selection of elements hints towards later than mid-Muromachi origin. Can non-shinto Bizen style have sugu boshi? Sure, ichimonji boshi can be interpreted as such. Its not ichimonji. There were some exceptions where one finds active Bizen hamon in Muromachi with sugu boshi. That does not look like either of them also. Yes, finding sugu boshi on a hamon like this does hint towards shinto. Not exclusively for sure, I don't think there is any kantei rule that comes without a hundred or so known exceptions, but its a point.
  8. If the implication is that it is similar to the present sword then I don't think its correct. These have well defined togari, well defined groupings of such, each separated and rising above the "valleys", groupings are mostly resembling each other. They are also not slanted left and right, or become thin long lines, crab claws or tobiyaki. They also will look quite differently in hand in terms of nie... If one is to go this way, one can pull Kanetomo, who indeed forged in heavily Bizen skewed fashion and indeed could resemble this blade in oshigata.
  9. Yes, I actually paused with this one as well, trying to decide which side of the yokote the togari is on. It seems to be right on the yokote, which could still be shinto; otherwise I am surprised that with very active hamon one would go for something that close to suguha, though some people in shinshinto did that.
  10. Sugu boshi, so I would argue its shinto. The style itself is not of Kanemoto lineage, there is too much variation between the groups, the center togari is not really larger in size, there are crab claws, nie does not stand out, overall it looks far more Bizen than Kanemoto.
  11. Overall the opinion on the origin of this rapier was made by someone not entirely familiar with a construction of European swords. Its not uncommon, as quite a few objects brought to Japan by foreign trade as late as the 19th century are being described as Japanese works from Kyushu.
  12. Its a different sword, but if this is the actual nakago shape, its nowhere close to Nambokucho. This is indeed Kaga Yukimitsu, but a very late generation, and the blade is in poor condition. Its more like 1,500-2,000 sword. A very rough work, hard to say without seeing the entire sword, but such rough delaminating masame was practiced mostly by the Tembun (1520) generation or about.
  13. This sword actually did come up for sale couple of times already, but the price if I remember correctly was much more significant. I think Kaga Fujishima is relatively straightforward to kantei, and its not the school that comes with a large premium for its name. If the shape is clearly Nambokucho and the style matches I would not worry too much. Not being a Kantei expert, I'll do a bit more: a. "strong toriizori, chu-kamasu kissaki" unfortunately does not sound that typical for 1360s. b. It would be strange if it has much from Kashu Sanekage, usually later Kaga went into different, non-Norishige, direction. If I remember correctly, Tomoshige's typical style is periodic gunome with lots of sunagashi, but one also finds in Kaga Choji Bizen-like hamon with coarser hada and stronger hint on nie. c. If I remember correctly, Yukimitsu was more of a Bizen knock-off guy, as typically all Kaga smith with Bizen like "mitsu" names. d. Existing blades attributed to "Kaga Yukimitsu" are far more often Oei rather than Nambokucho. 3k USD would be just a bit low for suriage Oei Kaga Yukimitsu, but its all depends on condition/issues. Going price in Japan if I remember correctly is around 350-550,000 yen with full polish and great condition.
  14. In general I would and do agree, however after seeing some stunning Taima blades I was buying for a while whatever came up with under Juyo papers. Third blade which turned out to be junk upon arrival did it for me. Just very average Yamato junk with itame instead of masame. I would still take Taima over Tegai or Shikkake, but there are unfortunately average examples out there. Which turns me to thinking - what is Taima in the first place? Realistically, signed examples are nowhere to be found, so its an attribution based on features, and tends to be applied to blades with Yamato-like hamon and stronger hada in itame with some mokume and nagare rather than clear masame features. The problem is, if hamon is really strong it borders a lot of Soshu examples. Yukimitsu, with even higher grade - Sadamune, possibly Hasebe, Echizen period of Tametsugu... I fear that while Taima is still very strong school, the "truly great Taima" might never get to be Taima so there is a cap on quality. Hosho seldom looses its members to anyone. I've seen some weaker blades, even Juyo and such, but most Hosho for me are as strong as it gets. The very best ones can do really dense itame as good as Awataguchi, they have thin hamon in full nie which is very bright, flowing masame with clusters of ji nie which are as large as what one sees in Norishige's ji... I think its an exceptional school, and also it never really meets the style of the rest - Taima, Tegai, Shikkake. I don't think these smiths interacted much with the main Yamato families.
  15. I prefer Hosho. Taima tends to loose better blades to Yukimitsu attribution, and what is left ranges in quality significantly. There are things that did not go Tegai only because they are itame based and nie forms clouds-like formation rather than nijuba per se, but the quality is still somewhat rough. I am all for it as a school being a notch above Tegai or Shikkake, but at the same time some of this fame comes from people owning Taima because they can't afford Yukimitsu and arguing instead "my sword is just as good". Senjuin has some significant early examples and I would not discard those.
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